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How much has a recent injury hurt TJ Warren’s chances of starting for Mizzou in 2016?

And was the redshirt freshman a spring game decoy or a true starter-in-waiting?

Central Florida v Missouri Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

TJ Warren

5’11, 190, RSFr.

Conyers, GA

davidcmorrison: Coming in last year, Warren was intriguing as a lean, long option who could bring the wood. So Missouri could possibly mold him into a cornerback or a safety with time. And, given his surprise run with the 1s in the spring game, it appeared that time would be sooner rather than later.

But, alas, time catches up with even the best of us, and a hamstring injury sidelined Warren during a crucial portion of fall camp, when he could ill afford to cede any ground he had gained on Gibson, Cheadle, Hines et al.

How far did that put him behind? Will it translate to fewer snaps as a redshirt freshman than the coaches were anticipating in April? Guess we’ll have to see.

Sam Snelling: How much of Warren running with the first team was him showing out and how much was it the coaches wanting to send a message to the other upperclassmen who hadn’t? I wouldn’t be surprised if it was more of the latter, but Warren was always an intriguing signee, and a guy who I felt with the right environment could turn into an every down corner.

Bill C.: You do figure Warren’s first-string time was at least partially a motivational ploy — like Terez Hall moving past Donavin Newsom for a while. That said, it was John Gibson getting burned by J’Mon Moore for a long score in the Black & Gold Game, not Warren. (Granted, that might have been the safety’s fault; it was miscommunication one way or another.)

It really is a shame that Warren has been slowed in fall camp. Whether he’s the true No. 1 or was more of a spring game decoy, he could see the field a lot either way, and now wasn’t the best time to have to sit out for a little while.

Christian Holmes

6’1, 185, Fr.

Atlanta, GA

davidcmorrison: Holmes gave Trey Baldwin a run for his money as “most consistently pumped to be a member of Missouri’s recruiting class of 2016.” Again, not a bad way to introduce yourself to the fanbase.

Holmes is a workout warrior, one who you’ll hear putting up insane 40 times and bench press totals and wonder, “Well, why isn’t that dude playing on Saturdays?!”

Bro. Relax.

It’s because he needs work on the finer points of the position, having split time a little bit of everywhere (wideout, corner, safety...little bit of QB?) in high school. With the way the depth chart lays out now, Missouri’s got the luxury of being patient with him. That could change with a key injury or two, but for now it looks like it would behoove both sides to give Holmes a little bit of seasoning before expecting him to shoulder the burden in the defensive backfield.

Check back next August, though.

Of course, Missouri is always looking for athletic, hard-hitting players to cut their teeth on special teams right off the bat. Just ask Terez Hall.

Sam Snelling: Supposedly Odom is looking for a lot of freshmen to contribute. Holmes has the size and athleticism to hang. Does that mean he’ll burn a redshirt? Honestly, I always worry about playing a bunch of freshmen, particularly when you’re in the SEC, but at least Missouri is in the East which is a bit more forgiving.

There’s a lot to like about Holmes when it comes to the measurables, and if anyone can find a way to tune into the immeasurables it has to be Barry Odom and Demontie Cross, right? If Holmes can put it all together it would be easy to see him contribute early and often.